Letters to the Editor: October 13

Locals coverage; Elect the Wolves; Vote for what you believe.

Locals coverage

We are writing to express our appreciation to the Daily Townsman staff for their great coverage of the arts in the community, and in particular the Local Coffee House Music Series.

Throughout the fall and winter months, the Locals Coffee House puts on five shows, encouraging local musicians and other performers to showcase their talent in front of a usually sold-out audience at the Studio/Stage Door. This venue helps build confidence and hones performing skills for new and seasoned performers as well as raising funds for local music programs in our schools and in the community.

It has been very gratifying over the years to see Locals covered so well by the Daily Townsman.

Kudos to the staff for your great support in showcasing our amazing local talent over the years.

Members of the Locals Coffee House committee

Elect the Wolves

Elections can be fun, but stressful and divisive; they serve to emphasize the “Us vs. Them” dichotomy.

One example of such divisiveness is when someone you considered a friend has the “wrong” sign on his lawn and will vote for the heathens. We thought they had more sense than that, making it difficult for us to practice the supreme virtue of tolerance.

Then there are the preposterous promises carried on CBC-TV and radio by the PM and party leaders. These began early in the long campaign and have accelerated to a fever pitch. The economy, jobs, dams, logging, oil and gas drilling and fracking will be decided by corporations and unpredictable future world events that are far beyond the influence of party policies; the promises do not even represent reasonable guesses, amounting to farting in a windstorm.

This brings us to another divisive issue, the provincial government’s edict to continue the culling of wolves. Many wolves must be shot in order to save some 15 caribou, whose days are numbered because of things we have done, such as clear cut logging. Caribou inhabit clear cut areas, making them vulnerable to wolves. ATVing and snowmobiling in restricted areas are also disruptive. For caribou it’s too little, too late.  Rumors are that we have folks in our midst who love to kill predators in order to increase the number of ungulates they and other hunters can kill. Also, our current Minister of Mines is lecturing us and pontificating about how the predators must be controlled (Townsman-25 September 2015).

Predator/prey management is much more than tracking predator/prey numbers and allotting hunting licences. Politicians often say, “I’m not a scientist” to justify a lack of understanding of predator/prey relationships. Yet, they say we must do a “scientific” wolf cull, as supported by our MLA.

A popular book which apparently appeals to the “cullers” is The Real Wolf, written by T.B. Lyon-a hunter and trial lawyer. For definitive objective science on the complex predator/prey issue the politicians might read Wolves of the Yukon by R.D. Hayes, a biologist with decades of experience in studying wolves with and without human intervention. Which authors credentials would seem more relevant?

For starters, in this area we could rescue and domesticate the remaining reindeer, leave the wolves alone, stay out of the wilderness-designated forests with machines and carefully regulate ungulate hunting licences.

Jack Loeppky, Cranbrook

Vote for what you believe

Thank you to Gary Werk (Vote Strategically) and Sjeng Derkx (Don’t Vote Strategically) for adding to a conversation that I feel is on many people’s minds in Kootenay-Columbia riding (Letters, October 5).

I have two problems with voting strategically:

1. Personally, I committed to supporting the Green Party because of their policies. The two people who motivated me to get involved with the Green were Elizabeth May and Bill Green.  Elizabeth inspires me with her thinking and with the way she leads by example. Bill will be a superb Member of Parliament for Kootenay-Columbia.

I believe very strongly that Bill Green can help build the kind of balanced and fair-minded Canada that our grandchildren will so desperately need in an uncertain world of the future.

If I did agree to vote for a party other than Green, my support for them would be very shallow and I would be forsaking political principles I believe in. I would not feel very good about myself.

2. I’ll admit that I pondered the question of strategic voting myself, so I did some reading about it. If you check out the Internet, you will find that most thinkers on the subject say that strategic voting does not work. The main reason? For strategic voting to be successful, a very high majority of people from several different parties must all agree to vote for one candidate in one party.

Apparently what does happen is that many people just give up and decide not to vote at all. Those who do vote, switch to a variety of other parties, not just one.

Bill Green put it best when he said: “Vote for what you believe in, not for what you do not want.”

Finally, the polls Gary Werk refers to seem to be old data. Polling results are in flux nationally and in British Columbia. I understand the results in our own riding are changing almost daily.

Jim Duncan, Kimberley

Vote for change?

So NDP Candidate Wayne Stetski wants change. Well let’s look at what change meant to the citizens of Cranbrook when they voted for change almost four years ago and elected Wayne Stetski as their Mayor.

After three years as Mayor, in the 2014 election he received only seven more votes than in the 2011 election; 2,185 to 2,192. He was soundly defeated. In fact, five of the newly elected councillors also received more votes than Wayne did running for Mayor. It seems the citizens of Cranbrook were tired of Mr. Stetski and wanted a change. At the ballot box they made their point loud and clear. Wayne Stetski must go.

As Mayor, Stetski raised taxes over 12 per cent and raised utility rates 10 per cent. He sadly neglected major issues such as roads and infrastructure and the problem with Idlewild Dam, while squandering taxpayers’ dollars on frivolous projects. Wayne Stetski alienated himself from the business community resulting in barriers to business and very little economic growth and activity.

Under his leadership, every one of his councillors who ran in the 2014 election was also soundly defeated. Not much success in leadership and direction shown there. His claim to fame was attending over 300 events a year. Many of these had nothing to do with running of the City’s affairs. I suggest Wayne Stetski should have paid more attention to what the citizens of Cranbrook wanted and less attention to his photo ops.

Wayne Stetski as Mayor proved to be a prime example of poor performance, poor leadership, and no results. Is this the person you want representing you in Ottawa? Think about this when you are voting for change because as evidenced during his term in Cranbrook, you will absolutely get less than you bargained for!

Igor Gallyamov, Cranbrook

TPP

The recently negotiated TPP trade agreement is another example of the Harper Conservatives trying to throw the Election in their favour. Again Harper has shown his disdain for democracy by ignoring the Canadian Constitution.

According to our Constitution, when Harper dissolved Parliament early, as he did, that placed his Government under rules of the “caretaker convention”. That convention, is exactly what the name implies; a “caretaker” only administration. So the political party in control of Parliament, when it was dissolved, is stripped of its power and is only allowed to act in response to an emergency, such as a natural disaster.

The rules of the “caretaker convention” requires, if there is an emergency, the Prime Minister must work with his counterparts in the opposition to make decisions that are in the national interest. Clearly, this obligation to work with the opposition parties was intended so as not to give the out-going Government an unfair advantage during the ensuing election campaign.

So whether the TPP is good or bad isn’t the issue (although news out of the USA is that none of their Democratic Party’s presidential candidates are in support) it is Harper’s blatant disregard for our Canadian Constitution and our democracy. Just like the Robo calls and exceeding the spending limits in the previous two elections, Harper’s Conservatives have no qualms whatsoever in breaking the rules to gain an unfair advantage!

In Kootenay Columbia, voters have only one choice, Wayne Stetski (NDP), to defeat Steven Harper and restore democracy to Canada.

Gary Werk, Cranbrook

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